1950s Sweethearts

An area couple is a shining example that love can endure the test of time.

Bob and Emily Edwards, a Kiantone couple who attends Chautauqua Adult Day Care’s Senior Day Program, are the only husband and wife to attend the program. So, this year in celebration Valentine’s Day, they have been selected as the program’s “King and Queen Sweetheart Couple.”

They have been married for 62 years. Before marriage, Edwards was recruited by the U.S. Army from a Pennsylvania Reserve Unit that he had attended before he was drafted. His second World War service included an assignment in the Rhine Valley as a medic and cook. He returned home to work for Marlin Rockwell Corporation for 30 years until he retired at the age of 62. Mrs. Edwards was a stay-at-home mother of two sons, Chuck and Marcus, and also served for more than 20 years as a long-term care provider for 12 foster children.

“I enjoyed it a lot because I was taking in children who didn’t have a home,” said Mrs. Edwards.

When the children had moved out of home, Mrs. Edwards started working several jobs including: cleaning at Wellman’s Furniture, cooking for the Agnes Home and providing transportation for Amish families from Sugar Grove, Pa. She was also a member of the Sacajawea Women’s church group for more than 40 years.

Edwards said that they decided to stay in the area for work and because they liked Jamestown.

“I like Jamestown, it’s a good town, and at one time it was good for work,” said Edwards.

Before meeting each other, Mrs. Edwards first met Edwards’ father. Mrs. Edwards recalls that she used to walk to work with Edwards’ father when she worked at New Process Company in Warren. They met when Edwards’ sister invited Mrs. Edwards on a road-trip, and they spent the drive getting to know each other.

“Then we started going together,” said Mrs. Edwards.

“It was love at first sight on my side,” said Edwards. “And, we got married a few months later.”

The couple got involved with Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers because they wanted to remain active and stay independent at home. They remain at home with the help of their children and the help of their nurse, Rebecca.

“Our boy found out about this, and he thought it would be a good way for us to get away a couple of days a week, and I think it’s worked out well,” said Edwards.

“It’s nice to belong to something like this to get us out of the house,” said Mrs. Edwards.

While attending the program Mrs. Edwards participates in a choir, called the “Happy Grams,” two days a week. Edwards is a gardener who said he feels organic gardening is the best method to employ. He and Mrs. Edwards practice gardening at the senior day program.

“We got to clean up the environment,” said Edwards.

According to Karen Lucks, associate director for Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers, the senior day program will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a dance, music and refreshments.

“They are a very special couple,” said Lucks. “They are our sweetheart couple because Bob is so sweet to Emily, and in return she is to him. They have such respect for each other, and you just don’t see that anymore. So, to see a couple who has been married 62 years is an inspiration to everyone. And, to have someone like Bob, who is 94 and wants to attend our program, is great. It does get them out and keeps them in the community, which is important. “

Although Edwards is a democrat and Mrs. Edwards is a republican, they overcome their differences to get along contentedly with love and happiness.

“We’ve always got along well, and he gives me my own way,” said Mrs. Edwards.

“I do that because she’s all-over, and Emily has worked hard all of her life – she’s a very good woman,” said Edwards. “On top of three meals a day, she paints the house, does the lawn-mower, took care of all the kids, which is a big job, and when the kids got bigger, she went out and worked. “

Mrs. Edwards and Edwards still maintain a connection with three of the foster children, Darlene F. Jimerson, her older sister Clara Green and Debra Edwards. Jimerson is working on completing a degree in Respiratory Therapy while working as a phlebotomist for a county hospital. Green works at The Post-Journal and lives on a farm in Busti. Debra Edwards resides in Wooster, Ohio, but is currently stationed with her husband Sfc. Charles Shelton and their three children at Fort Campbell, Ky.

“Each of us are grateful to call them mom and dad, grandma and grandpa and great grandma and great grandpa,” said Chuck and Marcus Edwards. “We have taken witness to their extraordinary marriage as it has grown and changed through the days and years. We cannot imagine a better couple to be crowned King and Queen for Valentine’s Day 2013 at the Chautauqua Adult Day Care Center.”

Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers, Inc. is a nonprofit United Way agency that provides senior day programs for adults 60 and older who live in the community. The mission of the agency is to provide an affordable day program that helps older adults remain independent and at home. There are four sites throughout Chautauqua County in Westfield, two in Jamestown and Dunkirk. One of the two in Jamestown, the Present Center, is a program designed specifically for older adults with Alzheimers.

For more information on Chautauqua Adult Day Care Centers call 665-4899 or visit seniordayprograms.com.